San Juan Islander, October 28, 2012
Close to 2,000 residents from Northern Washington packed Squalicum High School in Bellingham Saturday, October 27, to kick off the first of seven public comment hearings regarding the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point.
As proposed the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point would create the largest coal export facility in North America. Each year 450 ships would travel through the straits enroute to Asia. A third of the ships would be Capesize vessels which are too large to fit through the locks of either the Panama or Suez Canals. They must voyage via Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America to get to or from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The rest of the ships would be Panamax which are the largest sized vessels which can fit through the Panama canal locks.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s Custer Spur Rail Expansion projects are interrelated and may have significant individual and/or cumulative impacts on the human environment. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being prepared. The scoping period starts September 24, 2012 and ends January 21, 2013.